The 5th Global Chess Festival on 12th October 2019 was hosted at the Hungarian National Gallery once again.

Over 20 colourful programs on the spot highlighted the diverse nature of chess in four different aspects: chess as a sport, a science, a form of art and an educational tool.
Being a special event, this anniversary deserved special guests of honour: the 3 Polgar Sisters, former president of the Hungarian Republic Pal Schmitt, president of the International Chess Federation Arkady Dvorkovich, and that of the Hungarian Chess Federation, 14th World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, artists and rock legends.


There were different kinds of competitions for all age groups where girls and boys get equal opportunities by playing in the same group: the Future Champions of Europe, Chess Palace Cup, Chess Challenge, Simuls with Judit and Sofia Polgar.

The Future Champions of Europe talent discovery chess tournament for European youth participants was organized in the support of the European Chess Union. Participants travelled to this special event from 11 different countries, ie: Ukraine, Norway, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania, France, the Netherlands, Russia, Germany and Hungary. For results see here.

The Inspiration Cup: the 1st Hand & Brain Tournament ever organised in the history of chess. It was not only a spectacular game for the Grandmaster pairs (Natasha Regan & Matthew Sadler, Tatjana Plachkinova & Artur Kogan, Sofia Polgar & Yona Kosashvili and Marina Yugina & Mihail Marin) where one team member was the ‘brain’ and the other was the ‘hand’, but also a prestigious example of mixed gender competitions at the event. It was won by Sofia Polgar and her husband, Grandmaster Yona Kosashvili.

The 14th World Champion Vladimir Kramnik Russia joined Judit Polgar at the Champions Talk, a discussion that aimed at discovering an answer on how to become a cutting edge chess player. In addition to offering insight into their competition experience, the two world-class players shared their views on the scientific, educational and artistic aspects of chess. Subjects such as how to synchronise the career of a top athlete, parenting and the topic of gender were also discussed.

You can watch the conversation here


Kindergarden and primary school children with their parents visited the stations of Judit Polgar’s education platforms Chess Playground and Chess Palace, where while playing they could get aquainted with the various tools and the extraordinary methods of prompting creative thinking. The festival featured also Hosok Tere’s growth mindset program. Chess and Math offered an insight into the mathematical characteristics of the game. OK Education Center trainers presented how one can develop their financial, economic and management knowledge, and how one can learn about the relationship between art and money, and the relationship between career and success. Visitors could get an introduction to the chess of the visually and the hearing impaired. Also the Chess Connects Conference included talks on education: Leontxo Garcia outlined the benefits of chess in education, whereas grandmaster Susan Polgar highlighted the success of the institute she has founded (SPICE) to encourage college chess.


The unique location, which gave home to the festival, was the Hungarian National Gallery. Visitors could witness how contemporary artist Andras Gyorfi converted the white canvas into magic in front of their eyes, where in the middle of the excitement of the simultaneous chess games, he painted the magic of chess. The opening ceremony also featured chess connected songs and dance pieces. At the Chess Connects Conference, Chilean singer and songwriter Juga compared the universal language of chess and music. The Morgan Stanley Chess Café was set in front of Csontvary Kosztka’s famous painting, the ‘Ruins of Greek Theatre at Taormina’. Children could give way to their creativity during the Sweet Art and Craft session and in the Painting Corner.


The Chess Connects Conference was organized for the first time with renowned scientists, world-famous chess players and educators. It highlighted the major role chess plays in art, its contribution to science, the opportunities it provides in education as well as the evolution of chess as a sport. Kenneth Rogoff, professor of Harvard University, showed how he uses his experience as a chess player in his career with a special focus on the human factor. Neuroscientist Sylvester E. Vizi, former president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, gave a lecture on artificial intelligence, which was also discussed by international female chess master Natasha Regan and grandmaster Matthew Sadler, co-authors of the bestselling book on AlphaZero.